Last night I promised myself that I would write – first thing this morning, I was going to sit down and hammer out at least one chapter.
It is now three o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t written one word. Hm. What went wrong you ask?
Okay, I do have a mountain of distractions going on right now. My son had to be at school early, so I drove him and then had to come home and drive my daughter twenty minutes later. We’re putting in a pool and I had to water the gunite this morning. We also moved a lot of plants around, so I had to water those too. (They don’t look so great but I’m still hoping that they’ll make it.) Then I had to move the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer – or I’d get that stale we’ve-been-sitting-in-the-washer-too-long smell. And then it just made sense to put more clothes into the washer. Fellow Moms will understand why keeping up with the laundry is a must, right? Because if you don’t work on that pile, it becomes Everest and then you’re drowning in dirty clothes and everyone is wondering why they don’t have clean underwear. Even worse, your teenage son wears the dirty underwear.
Even so, I should have been sitting down at my computer by 9:30 AM. But, the electrical guys showed up to wire the pool lights. They’re still here. What can I say? It’s distracting. They’re playing music and banging around in my garage.
Okay, okay, I could have put on headphones and tuned them out. But what if they needed to talk to me? So I baked a cake. Yep. From scratch.
Now I know that distractions are a common problem for writers. Lately though, I seem to be creating distractions. Did I have to move the laundry this morning? Yes. Did I have to start a new load? Probably not. I could ….
…and the phone rang. Pool business.
Back to my original thought…No, I didn’t have to do the laundry this morning, but I would have been okay, I would have been productive, if I hadn’t baked that chocolate cake! And made stir fry for lunch. And researched the modern Gothic novel.
Yes, distractions are a common problem, but I’m realizing that distractions have become a major issue for me.
I’m not sure why or when this happened. Once upon a time, I was the picture of productivity. My house was a mess and the laundry was never finished, but words got down on the page every day. Maybe that’s my problem – lately I’ve been a happy housewife. For some strange reason, the older I get, the more I crave cleanliness. In fact, I have a hard time concentrating if my work area is messy. Having teenagers in the house might be the root of that feeling – nobody can destroy order better than a fourteen year old boy and a preteen with a crafty side!
So, how do you eliminate distractions?
I used to write outside the home. I’d go to the library or Starbucks and work until it was time to pick the kids up from school. Unfortunately I can’t go anywhere most days because of the pool builders. What I can do is plan for tomorrow.
I’ll rope the kids into doing laundry for me this afternoon. I’ll plan a crockpot meal for dinner and eat PB&J for lunch. I’ll tell my husband and my kids that the phone will be out of order tomorrow until 4pm. I’ll wear headphones. Come hell or high water, phone calls or pool builders, I will get through at least one chapter tomorrow morning! Distractions be damned!